We were pleased to present a “Carols by Candlelight Concert” as our first ever performance in All Saints Church Wrington on Saturday 30th November when the main work was “A Ceremony of Carols” by Benjamin Britten sung together with the newly formed Wrington Youth Choir. We were delighted to welcome as our harpist Alis Huws Official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales, Michael Taylor the Wrington Church organist and our two soprano soloists local mother and daughter “Zoë Maitland-Round and Louise Maitland-Round”. The whole concert was organised and conducted by our accompanist Allison Blundell who trained both choirs while her son George acted as accompanist in her place.
Benjamin Britten’s hugely popular Ceremony of Carols was inspired by his discovery of “The English Galaxy of Shorter Poems”, a collection of poetry first published in 1933. It was composed in part while returning by ship to Britain from the United States in 1942. It features an unusual setting for treble voices and harp; Britten had intended to write a harp concerto and so had been studying the instrument. The “carols” are largely the product of 15th and 16th century writers, most of whom are anonymous. They retain their unique flavour by Britten’s extensive use of old English language. The version we presented was an arrangement for soprano, alto, tenor and bass with two soprano soloists.